Synthpop greats Future Islands step into a sold out Academy for a show only they could throw, SFN‘s Jack Cinnamond got the skinny.
Arriving just before 8pm, the O2 Academy already looks a bit fat, droves of people all in their talking circles, usual pre-game deeds, but it comes to a fine halt as support act Wing Dam arrives.
Boasting a powerful post-grunge sound, Baltimore band Wing Dam joined their city brothers on tour and while walking in very unknown, they left to applause.
Their set filled with melody pushing, loud post-grunge vibes and while most of their set feature similar sounds, it strangely doesn’t wear out it’s welcome. We’re sure they left with a few more fans in their lives.
Now as the lights go down, it’s time for the synth pop heroes Future Islands to make their very welcome return to our fair city, especially backed with a strong recent album and their known intentions for a great live performance.
Opening with “Back in the Tall Grass”, the band seemingly understand what they’re doing already, the lights are sublime with the performance and by far, it’s the best band to control this usually draging venue.
The band tears through their set, with frontman Sam T. Herring‘s signature moves on show and the band in very fine form, this is an unstoppable act in full view.
We only get a few songs in before we get hit with the band’s stride, with showings of tracks like “Ran”, “Balance” and “Cave” among others.
Placed in the middle of two tracks from the latest album The Far Field, a set highlight in “A Song For Our Grandfathers” makes its showing during the second half of their main set. It’s powerful, utterly magnificent work.
Nearing the end, the crowd, who have been alive during the set’s entirety, are finally given ther treat as Sam & co. deliver their hit with “Seasons (Waiting On You)”. The adoration is quite clear, on-stage and off.
After the band’s main set ends, their return only brings more joy as they crash back into stage with five more songs, bringing the overall total to roughly 24 throughout the night. They know how to throw a show, it actually seems easy for them.
The final blow comes with the performance of debut album ender “Little Dreamer”, which brings the almost two-hour show to a balanced halt.
Future Islands deliver a show that won’t leave people unhappy, instead they gracefully showcase their preformative eminence that we can’t help but return with pure love and admiration.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by Phil Johnson.